Firefighting

Firefighter Seriously injured at Kittery (ME) House Fire

Firefighters quickly extinguished an early morning fire that damaged a rundown antique Victorian home at 119 Pepperrell Road in Kittery Monday but one firefighter was seriously injured in the response, reports Portland Press Herald.

The two brothers who live at the home — which had no electricity or water — called the fire department just after 4 a.m. to report the fire. Fire Chief David O’Brien was at the house in four minutes and saw smoke coming from the eaves and the side of one of the windows, he said.

The brothers were sitting on an enclosed porch when firefighters arrived and tried to go back inside the 2½-story building, built in 1860, but firefighters and police stopped them, O’Brien said.

Crews opened vents in the second story windows to let the heat escape, then were able to attack the fire, which was concentrated in a second-floor bedroom.

O’Brien struck a second alarm — summoning firefighters from York, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard – because the color of the smoke had started to change from black, indicating burning petroleum-based contents of the building, to the brown that indicates the wood structure itself starting to burn, he said.

But crews were able to get the fire out quickly before it spread beyond the bedroom and hallway, he said.

One firefighter’s foot was badly injured when it caught in an aerial ladder that was being adjusted by hydraulics. The firefighter was taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery on his toes and appears to be doing well, O’Brien said.

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